Tata Sons today rebutted ousted chairman Cyrus P Mistry's allegations of weak corporate governance at India's largest conglomerate, calling it amalgam of half-truths and untruths. Reached for comments on Mistry's claim in a petition before National Company Law Tribunal that the governance framework at Tata Sons is weak, a Tata Sons spokesperson expressed "surprise" at the assertion. "It is mischievous on the part of any Tata Sons executive to suggest the lack of a strong governance framework at Tata Sons, more so someone who has been associated with the company as a director since 2006.
One can only call these allegations as an amalgam of half-truths and untruths," he said. Stating that a strong governance framework exists at Tata Sons, the spokesperson said: "In line with the Tata Group's ethos, Tata Sons has always gone over and beyond the requirement of the law on matters of corporate governance. In fact, over the years we have reinforced this formal governance framework." He added that in 2012-13, the Tata Sons board and Mistry had given their explicit approval to an amended governance framework involving Tata Trusts and Tata Sons. "Mr Mistry willingly participated in this process and his entire family shareholding in Tata Sons voted upon to effect these amendments," he said. Tata Sons were advised on this by Justice BN Srikrishna and former Attorney General of Maharashtra Darius Khambatta and the spokesperson said Mistry was himself present in several meetings on this matter. "We reiterate Mr Cyrus Mistry and his family holdings in 2013 had fully supported and approved the governance framework that is embodied in the Articles of Association of Tata Sons," he added. Mistry, who was abruptly removed as chairman of Tata Group's holding company on October 24, yesterday filed a petition before NCLT seeking replacement of Tata Son's current board and appointment of a retired Supreme Court judge as non-executive chairman. In a statement yesterday, Tata Sons had reiterated that it has followed the highest standards of corporate governance in its operations and views the petition filed by Mistry's companies as an unfortunate outcome of the situation arising from his complete disregard of the ethos of the Tata Group and Jamsetji Tata. Despite Mistry's recent assertions that it is not a personal issue, it is evident that it always has been for him a personal issue which reflects his deep animosity towards Ratan N Tata, said the statement.
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